Meet Magnus, a four-month-old lion cub recently rescued from horrid conditions at a circus in Spain. Magnus’ “owners” kept him on a liquid died for two months so that he would remain small. Why? So visitors could safely take selfies with the animal at a small $22 per selfie cost. That’s why they starved this animal.

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It isn’t just cruel and terrible, but now Magnus will have serious health problems that will likely last the remainder of his life. His liquid-only diet resulted in a shrunken esophagus, making it impossible for Magnus to eat solid food. The kind people at Let’s Adopta global animal rescue organization, paid for the surgery to have his esophagus widened.
After the surgery, Magnus is now able to eat crushed chicken, and his weight has doubled from 24 to 48 pounds. Good news for this little lion club!
“The circus regarded the baby lion as an attraction to bring in visitors and they were keen to keep it small for as long as possible,” Ivan Jimenez, a spokesman for Let’s Adopt, told The Mirror. “We decided to pay for the surgery although we usually only treat cats and dogs.”
Even though Magnus is back on the right track, it’s unlikely that Magnus will ever be able to eat large chunks of meat like a healthy adult lion. His meals will always be cut up for him, making it impossible for him to survive in the wild.
“He certainly would never survive in the wild,” Civera says. Luckily, thanks to the kind people at Let’s Adopt, Magnus will be well looked after and will never have to endure this sort of abuse again.
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Even if you don’t care about the welfare of these animals, their mistreatment often results in disease, some of which can be dangerous to us. One investigation revealed that two “selfie lions” were infected with giardia and ringworm, parasitic and fungal infections (respectively) that can be passed to humans. And circuses have the audacity to call their actions “conservation.”
These big cats are taken from their mothers at eight weeks of age, sometimes earlier, so they’re easier to handle. They will never know normal tiger social behavior and will never ever be able to survive in the wild.
“These acts either show man dominating one of nature’s most magnificent creatures, which would never happen on an even playing field, or, worse, are promoted as illustrations of the ‘special bond’ the trainer has with his captive.”
But fortunately for little Magnus, things are looking up.
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